The online video company Storycatchers from Antwerp broadcast the very first 360-degree video of The Voice Kids in Beirut (Lebanon) this weekend. More than 60,000 viewers from the Middle East experienced the final as if they were also on stage. Probably the most watched 360-degree video in the Middle East ever …Simultaneously with the live broadcast on the MBC1 Arabic chan-nel, the final could be followed live through an Internet 360-degree stream.
Hans Mathieu: “Storycatchers ensured that viewers could not just follow the final of The Voice Kids in Beirut on the largest television channel of the Middle East, but also live on the Internet through a 360-degree video. A true masterpiece because 360-degree video is still only just in its infancy and live streaming in the Middle East is always a considerable challenge.
Storycatchers provided the full 360-degree production and managed all the involved parties. “We guaranteed the 360-degree camera work, the streaming and the online distribution. We supplied 360-degree equipment and ensured that the video was played live on different mobile and non-mobile devices.”
It sounds simple, but this could not be further from the truth. “Setting up 360-degree video was not such a problem, but ensuring it could be played live on different types of computers, tablets and smartphones was a real tour de force. As was the distribution of the images since the data infra-structure in the Middle East is that bit different from ours. Everything also took place live: nothing was edited afterwards. All images were recorded live and it was as if viewers were standing on the podium with the artists. Friday night we got a first scoop with the very first 360-degree video ever for the pan-Arab MBC media group. The day after, on Sateruday, we got the second: the 360-degree video of the final was probably the most watched 360 broadcast worldwide.”
This edition of The Voice Kids was, for that matter, not a national event, but was organized for the whole of the Middle East. Lebanon, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, etc. The show could be watched in 11 countries through the largest television channel, MBC1, and, therefore, also live through the Internet.
Storycatchers is the Belgian market leader for live broadcasts of events over the Internet. “We can cover all possible aspects from camera to video management and from streaming engineers to online video distribution or delivery to YouTube.”
The team of online video professionals provides live webcasts of concerts and events on a national and international level. With live broadcasts in more than 14 countries as part of its impressive rec-ord of achievement and customers such as Cirque du Soleil, Microsoft and Unilever, it is also a rel-evant international player. In addition, Storycatchers produces company videos and comes up with creative video formats for companies with all sorts of objectives: production films, event reports, video testimonials and much more.
360-degree video offers additional perspectives for event and marketing objectives. From a tech-nological point of view, 360-degree live broadcasts are still very complex. Special cameras with several lenses film the whole area in 360-degrees through wide-angle lenses. The images overlap and, therefore, it is experienced as being one large image. Integrated software ensures that the images are merged smoothly. The audio follows the streaming. Viewers can determine themselves what they want to watch using special VR (Virtual Reality) or 3D glasses, a computer mouse or keyboard: the artists on the podium, the audience, the panel of judges, etc. It seems as if they are sitting in the front row or are participating on the podium. It is all very interactive and can be applied to very different sectors to increase brand perception. You could, for example, attend a concert or product launch abroad or even be an actor in a film.
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